Fresh-baked bread, warm from the oven … you know, the delicious, homemade kind you crave in the fall. Have you tried baking your own with sprouted-grain flour? Sprouting grains changes the way your body digests them, to keep your metabolism burning hot.
You can find some brands of sprouted-grain bread at the grocery store—maybe you’ve already found a favorite. Still, there’s nothing like a freshly made, handcrafted loaf of crusty-outside, pillowy-inside bread, warming your kitchen with that irresistible aroma.
Whether you love to bake—or you’ve never baked your own bread before—you can make homemade sprouted-grain bread with just a few ingredients. Baking with sprouted grains is a little different from baking with refined white flour, though, or even whole wheat:
Choose your sprouted flour. You’ll find bags of pre-ground sprouted flour at health-food stores and some grocery stores, usually in the freezer or refrigerator case (keep them in airtight containers in the freezer at home, too, to keep them fresh). The two most common types are sprouted wheat and sprouted spelt (an ancient ancestor of wheat). Bread baked with sprouted spelt won’t rise as high as sprouted-wheat bread—but sprouted spelt flour works great for things like homemade pasta and pancakes.
Two brands of sprouted wheat flour that are easy to find include Arrowhead Mills Organic Sprouted Wheat Flour and King Arthur Organic Sprouted Wheat Flour.
Sprouted bread tastes milder and naturally sweeter than whole-wheat bread. Even some people who aren’t crazy about whole-wheat bread love sprouted-grain bread.
Sprouted flour often needs a little extra moisture. Start with a couple of tablespoons of extra liquid, if you’re substituting sprouted flour in a recipe.
Try recipes developed especially for sprouted flour. The One Degree Organics’ site has fantastic recipes, including Bread Machine Sprouted Bread and Sprouted Spelt Tortillas. Homemade sourdough bread is scrumptious with sprouted flour, too.
Sprouted-grain bread recipes commonly call for a little oil and/or honey (or maple syrup). Both add moisture and flavor to the dough. This great recipe doesn't use either, though, and it tastes spectacular!
- 16 ounces (about 4 cups) sprouted whole-wheat flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water (just a little warmer than body temperature)*
- 1 1/2 tsp. instant yeast
- Mix and knead together all of the ingredients—by hand, mixer, or bread machine—until a cohesive dough forms. (The dough may be wetter and stickier than other bread doughs.) If you're using a stand mixer, knead at low speed for 6 to 8 minutes.
- Transfer the dough to a bowl and press a piece of plastic wrap onto the surface. Cover the bowl with a damp towel. Let the dough rise in a warm place until it's puffy and much bigger (although not necessarily double in size), about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. (When you poke your finger into it, it shouldn't spring back.)
- Shape the dough into a loaf and place it into a nonstick 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch loaf pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let the bread rise for about 1 hour, or until it has risen above the top of the pan.
- Bake the bread in a preheated 375-degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes. To check doneness, you can poke an instant-read thermometer into the middle (it will read 190 degrees). Remove the bread from the oven, turn it out of the pan, and cool it on a rack completely before slicing.
*You'll need to use 1 to 2 tablespoons less water in summer and 1 to 2 tablespoons more water in winter.